The IMF has warned that Germany, France and Italy face major economic slowdowns over the next two years

France, Germany and Italy will experience the biggest economic slowdowns of all major economies over the next two years, the International Monetary Fund warned yesterday.

In a series of shock downgrades, the IMF warned that their economic growth would shrink by 0.3 per cent this year.

Italy and France would then see their growth fall even further in 2019.

Germany faces an uncertain economic future

The IMF also warned that a global trade war threatened worldwide growth and flagged uncertainties in the EU.

John Longworth, who was ousted as director general of the British Chambers of Commerce for supporting Brexit, said: ‘The downgrades show the European economic zone is not healthy. It’s a protectionist area, it doesn’t stimulate growth.

‘The fact that the EU is not performing well and the eurozone is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy says that we should concentrate our efforts on forming relationships with the rest of the world, where 90 per cent of growth is going to come from.’